The race to qualify for the Sports Car Club of America’s 2018 National Championship begins this weekend at Los Angeles’ Auto Club Speedway. Bill Okell, entering his fifth year on the U.S. Majors Tour, Western Conference, will once again be behind the wheel of the San Francisco’s based Huffaker Engineering’s Austin Healey MKIII, as he sets up for a pair of races at the high banked 2.6-mile oval and road course.
Okell is hoping to place in the top five as he races to qualify for the SCCA Run-offs, being held this year, for the first time at San Francisco’s Sonoma Raceway, this October. Okell is the 2017 SCCA Western Conference GTL defending champion, and finished 17th at the 2017 Run-Offs at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, in the National Championship GTL race, back in October.
Okell is no stranger to races at Auto Club Speedway. The International Speedway Corporations,[ISC], NASCAR owned, 65,000 seat track has been a strong venue for the 63-year-old Saanich resident, as he holds the track record for the NASPORT Lite series, plus he captured the Pacific Coast Road Racing Championship twice, most recently back in November just two months ago, driving his own MGB.
The 2017 U.S. Majors Tour season races at Auto Club Speedway, last January, where Okell drove Joe Huffaker’s Austin Healey MKIII, gave him mixed results as a late race spin plus an oil filter failure gave him a pair of fourth-place finishes and a poor start to the season.
This weekend’s race schedule has practice getting underway Friday, followed by a Saturday qualifying session and a short 25-minute sprint race in the afternoon. Sunday’s feature is the 40 minute U.S. Majors race in the early afternoon.